June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.219.1 - 12.219.7
AC 2007-375: An Integrated Approach to Teaching Assistant Training and Orientation
Ronald Kane, Michael Kerley, Jerome Paris, Janet Bodner, Ronald Rockland, and Clarisa Gonzalez-Lenahan
GSD, INTL, LIB
The training and quality of the Teaching Assistant is a continuing need at technological universities, particularly for those universities with large international student populations. A multifaceted approach has been developed to address concerns about pedagogy, academic quality, communication skills, educational culture, academic progress of graduate students, and educational needs of undergraduates and undergraduate programs. The approach includes a combination of short courses, seminars, regular coursework, language proficiency evaluation, and faculty developed policy in cooperation with academic administration. The programs are continually reviewed for quality and potential improvements. Details of the program and the achievement of best practices are described.
The growth of graduate and doctoral programs (Ref. 1) at New Jersey Institute of Technology has provided an opportunity for research-involved faculty to handle their teaching duties and continue to perform their research at a high level of activity. NJIT was designated New Jersey's public technological research university in 1994 by legislative action. With NJIT now a major research university, support of graduate students, particularly doctoral students in their first years of study is a major concern. Most research universities make extensive use of doctoral students as Teaching Assistants. Most will later move toward funded research support as Research Assistants.
Like most technological universities in the United States with focus on engineering, applied science, computer and information science, doctoral programs see significant enrollment of international students who may serve as Teaching Assistants. This presents unique challenges in training and orientation programs. NJIT has found that an integrated approach to address issues of communication skills, pedagogical techniques, and cultural issues has served well to enhance the services provided to faculty, staff, and most importantly to undergraduate students.
NJIT had a total Fall 2006 enrollment of 8, 209 students, with 433 doctoral students and 2,396 master's students. Half of all master's students are full-time. About 85% of the doctoral students are full-time with a large percentage of those international students. In any given year, about 180-200 graduate students, almost all doctoral, will serve as Teaching Assistants. Anywhere from 20 to 40 new TAs with international backgrounds may begin their service each year.
Kane, R., & Gonzalez-Lenahan, C., & Kerley, M., & Paris, J., & Bodner, J., & Rockland, R. (2007, June), An Integrated Approach To Teaching Assistant Training And Orientation Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1678
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